Guidelines For Making Electronic Medical Records Easier For Patients

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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS POLICY BRIEF PROPOSAL TO MAKE ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS EASIER FOR PATIENTS AND OTHER PROVIDERS TO ACCESS MARY ZEIGLER PREPARED FOR: JUNE 2015 AHS 530: HEALTHCARE DELIVERY AND REIMBURSEMENT BRYAN K BRELAND SUMMER 2014 GOAL STATEMENT The goal of this statement is to support Stage 3 Meaningful Use, which will allow patients to more readily access their health records, involve providers in more active exchange of information, allow patients to contact their providers more readily through electronic means, and allow for better coordination of care between providers. SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM Currently, it is difficult for patients to access their health…show more content…
Congress poured billions into EMR adoption, going so far as to budgeting “[…] $30 billion in incentives to stimulate the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) by eligible professionals and hospitals” in 2009 (Adler-Milstein, 2011). As technology becomes ever more ingrained in society, EMR use continues to grow. PRESENT STATUS OF THE PROBLEM The focus on EMR utilization persists today in the legislation proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve meaningful use of EMR systems. The comment period for Stage 3 of the meaningful use proposal ended June 2015. However, many are hopeful that the improvement of EMR use will not stop there. EMR use should not be limited to each individual physician office but instead should be accessible to patients in an easily accessible format. Currently, it is difficult for patients to become fully involved in their healthcare because it is difficult to access healthcare records and healthcare records are not consolidated in one place. While the meaningful use proposal does aim to improve EMR systems, there is still much work to be done to fully consolidate records into a format that is accessible to patients. ORGANIZATIONS ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM Many organizations have addressed the problem of EMR integration and access for patients. CMS is just one organization that aims to increase utilization of EMR systems to make health information more accessible. The Patient

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